The US Open and the Cincinnati Open happening before that will see a lot of players returning to the scheme of things after the forced break of the WTA and ATP Tours. One of those players is former world number five Kevin Anderson. The South African has had a rather long comeback trail than many other players. He can finally say he is actually well and truly back, for the first time in almost 20 months.
The break due to the coronavirus pandemic and numerous injury issues on and off stretched Anderson’s quiet period on Tour dating back to early 2019. Anderson is now gearing for another comeback, this time at the venue where he played one of his only two finals at a Grand Slam.
The 2017 US Open finalist who lost to Rafael Nadal accepts the harsh realities of the current situation and admits things will be different this time around in New York. One of those changes will be the lack of social interaction on the tour.
“With all of the safety protocols in New York, I think you can expect to spend a lot of time by yourself and with your team. I’m almost looking at this as a solo campaign with very little social interaction,” Anderson said in a recent interview. “It’ll be great just to be back on Tour, but at least starting out in New York, there won’t be that opportunity to socialise with people that I’d like to hang out with.”
The USTA has also limited the players’ entourage to a maximum of three people in light of social distancing rules. Anderson said he will find ways to spend the downtime but expects to be very busy nonetheless.
“I see myself spending a lot of time playing guitar, reading books, Netflix. A lot of the day is taken up with training, treatment, getting to and from the courts. There will be some down time, but I’m expecting to be pretty busy,” he added.
The 34-year-old expressed that while it will be very different to play without fans in stands, all players will go through the same adjustment. “It’s going to be a completely different experience (without spectators), especially on a court that’s so big like Arthur Ashe Stadium,” Anderson admitted.
“It might be a bit strange competing on the bigger courts or during a night session, but it’s going to be the same adjustment for everybody. It’ll be interesting to see how the players react,” the towering South African player added.